EEA Newsletter May 2014

In this newsletter:

Thomas BucherEditorial

God can do it again – Following the developments in the Ukraine triggers a lot of thoughts in my mind. Some time ago I watched a series about the history of Switzerland. Throughout our history we were several times at the verge of civil war and in 1848 there was actually one which lasted for 25 days. It was interesting to see how Switzerland was spared of a lot of pain and damage which could have occurred. At one point two cantons (two member states) were about to go into battle with each other. The armies fell on their knees and sang the battle song. They suddenly realised that they were singing the same song and asking God to give them victory through it. They put their arms down and found peace. Another time the countryside cantons and the ones with the bigger towns were in bitter conflict. War was just around the corner when during a meeting a hermit who had been called on by some came along. To this day, nobody knows what he told the two parties but they found a solution to their bitter dispute. In 1848 a civil war broke out. The dividing line was between the Catholics and the Reformed cantons. The general of the Reformed fraction instructed his troops not to use undue force. He forbade the use of explosive artillery in order to keep casualties down. And he negotiated and waited as long as he could. After only 25 days and less than 100 casualties the war was over. The winning party (the Reformed fraction) did everything to avoid extra provocation. A new constitution was drawn up which dealt with a lot of the problems which had caused civil war. God does it today Just before I started writing this, I received an article which pointed out that South Africa had been spared a civil war in a special way. “It was Michael Cassidy, a South African leader of African Enterprise, who saw the futility of high level mediation without also relying on God’s intervention. He reached out to Washington Okumu, a Christian professor from Kenya, who was often called “the gentle giant”, to join in the negotiations. On April 14, 1994, thirteen days before the election, Kissinger and Carrington boarded planes to head home, with Kissinger offering a prediction that a million people would die in what he saw as a coming civil war. Michael Cassidy went into action and rented a stadium in Durban and prayer meetings began to happen all over South Africa. While the prayer meetings were going on, Washington Okumu worked all night with the IFP to find a way to avoid the conflict. With an agreement in hand, he sped to the airport in Johannesburg to get Chief Buthelezi’s endorsement, but he arrived too late. The Chief had already left; at least he thought he had. A few minutes into the flight, his pilot said they had an instrument problem and had to return to Johannesburg. Washington Okumu got his meeting with Buthelezi. On April 17, 25,000 people turned out for prayer at the Durban stadium, matched by smaller prayer groups around the country. And in the VIP lounge Washington Okumu and Buthelezi had final discussions on a settlement with President de Klerk, hammering out a plan while thousands were in prayer for a peaceful settlement. Ten days later elections were held. The chief allowed his Zulu people to vote. Mandela was elected and not one person died from tribal conflict.” We cannot replicate history. But God has his ways. Let’s continue to pray for the Ukraine and also other places of need for God to bring peace and reconciliation through his divine intervention. With the strong hope that God can do it again! thomas signature       Thomas Bucher EEA General Secretary


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